Boston-based rapper Mr Lif (Jeffrey Haynes), a pupil of
El-P who produced his EP Enters the Colossus (2000),
delivered vitriolic agit-prop hip-hop in the tradition of
Public Enemy on the
EP Emergency Rations (2002), destined to remain his artistic peak.
The first album, I Phantom(Definitive Jux, 2002), was more modest in
its sociopolitical ambitions.
The Perceptionists was a collaboration with fellow rapper Akrobatik
(Jared Bridgeman) and producer Fakts One, documented on Black Dialogue (2005).
El-P's dissonant, bombastic and disorienting production complements the rapper's anger on
Mo' Mega (Definitive Jux, 2006),
but the counterpoint loses steam when the rapper turns from his sociological analysis
to personal and trivial targets that sound almost self-parodies.
I Heard It Today (Bloodbot Tactical Enterprises, 2009), a concept album
about the 2008 recession, had little to offer other than political rants
that one could easily find on any radio talk show.
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